German grammar

The development of a standard German was impeded by political disunity and strong local traditions until the invention of printing made possible a "High German-based book language."[17] This literary language was not identical to any specific variety of German. The first grammar evolved from pedagogical works that also tried to create a uniform standard from the many regional dialects for various reasons. Religious leaders wished to create a sacred language for Protestantism that would be parallel to the use of Latin for the Roman Catholic Church. Various administrations wished to create a civil service, or chancery, language that would be useful in more than one locality. And finally, nationalists wished to counter the spread of the French national language into German-speaking territories assisted by the efforts of the French Academy. With so many linguists moving in the same direction a standard German (hochdeutsche Schriftsprache) did evolve without the assistance of a language academy. Its precise origin, the major constituents of its features, remains uncertainly known and debatable. Latin prevailed as a lingua franca until the 17the century, when grammarians began to debate the creation of an ideal language. Before 1550 as a conventional date "supraregional compromises" were used in printed works, such as the one published by Valentin Ickelsamer (Ein Teutsche Grammatica) 1534. Books published in one of these artificial variants began to increase in frequency replacing the Latin then in use. After 1550 the supraregional ideal broadened to a universal intent to create a national language from Early New High German by deliberately ignoring regional forms of speech,[18] which practice was considered to be a form of purification parallel to the ideal of purifying religion in Protestantism. In 1617 the Fruitbearing Society, a language club, was ormed in Weimar in imitation of the Accademia della Crusca in Italy. It was one of many such clubs; however, none became a national academy. In 1618–1619 Johannes Kromayer wrote the first all-German grammar.[19] In 1641 Justin Georg Schottel in teutsche Sprachkunst presented the standard language as an artificial one. By the time of his work of 1663, ausfuhrliche Arbeit von der teutschen Haubt-Sprache, the standard language was well established. The High German languages (in German, Hochdeutsche Sprachen) or the High German dialects (Hochdeutsche Mundarten/Dialekte) are any of the varieties of standard German, Luxembourgish and Yiddish, as well as the local German dialects spoken in central and southern Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, Luxembourg and in neighboring portions of Belgium and the Netherlands (Ripuarian dialects in southeast Limburg), France (Alsace and northern Lorraine), Italy, Denmark, and Poland. The language is also spoken in diaspora in Romania, Russia, the United States, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Namibia. As a technical term, the "high" in High German is a geographical reference to the group of dialects that forms "High German" (in the broader sense), out of which developed standard High German (in the narrower sense), Yiddish and Luxembourgish. It refers to the upland and mountainous areas of central and southern Germany, it also includes Luxembourg, Austria, Liechtenstein and most of Switzerland. This is opposed to Low German, which is spoken on the lowlands and along the flat sea coasts of the north.[1] High German in this broader sense can be subdivided into Upper German (Oberdeutsch, this includes the Austrian and Swiss German dialects), Central German (Mitteldeutsch, this includes Luxembourgish, which is now a standardized language), and High Franconian which is a transitional dialect between the two.[2]